State offers 75 jobs for newer barristers
SEVENTY FIVE places for barristers with less than five years’ experience are available on panels to provide legal services to Government agencies.
The State Claims Agency is offering 345 places on two legal panels.
The agency deals with personal injury and property damage claims for 54 Government bodies and it is one of the most significant buyers of legal services in the State.
It will cut fees to barristers by up to 25 per cent and make pricing more transparent under a new tender system that has 270 places available on two panels for senior and junior counsel and 75 positions for less-experienced barristers.
The first panel is for the provision of services in employer liability, public liability and property cases.
The second panel is for the provision of services in cases of clinical negligence.
The agency revealed details yesterday on the Government procurement site etenders.gov.ieof the criteria and maximum fees available for specific items of work carried out.
The maximum fees will be graded, based on the amount of the award.
In the clinical negligence panel, the maximum payment for senior counsel starts at €4,750.
The maximum fee is €30,000 in cases where the settlement is €1 million.
Maximum brief fees in the Circuit Court for junior counsel and less-experienced barristers will range from €1,000 up to €3,000.
The maximum award in the Circuit Court is €38,000.
The top daily rate for senior counsel for attending inquests will be €2,000 for those who are less than 50km from the Four Courts in Dublin, and €2,500 for inquests that take place more than 50km away.
Brief and consultation fees for the District Court will be capped at €700.
However, the State Claims Agency believes the fees paid will be less than the maximum because barristers will be competing with each other when tendering.
Director of the agency Ciarán Breen said the inclusion of less-experienced barristers would foster younger talent and increase competition.
Sources at the Bar said barristers would be “very happy that work is being spread around” and that a transparent fee structure was being put in place.
Sinn Féin Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe welcomed the planned 25 per cent cut in fees and said the “massively excessive” fees that have been paid to lawyers should have been cut by previous governments.